Friday, November 15, 2013

The face of communism

The EPA..........

Philadelphia has 119 fire hydrants that cost about $2,000 each waiting in a warehouse to be installed, yet they sit high and dry because federal regulators say their fittings might taint drinking water with lead.

The City of Brotherly Love and communities across the U.S. face the specter of hundreds of millions of dollars in useless hydrants after a surprise ruling last month by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that requires fireplugs put in after Jan. 4 meet stricter standards for lead content, said Tom Curtis of the American Water Works Association in Denver. That means cities must scrap or retrofit inventory or buy hydrants and parts that some vendors aren’t even making yet.

Manufacturers and Curtis’s group, which represents utilities that serve about 80 percent of Americans, are urging the agency to reconsider or at least allow more time to comply. American Cast Iron Pipe Co., one of the largest hydrant makers, is seeing some customers delay or cancel orders.

“This delivers a huge cost and probably no health protection,” said Curtis, the water group’s deputy executive director. “It needs to be rethought.”


But if you think the EPA is doing everything necessary to keep the environment clean just google the word ethanol........

But the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today.

As farmers rushed to find new places to plant corn, they wiped out millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted water supplies, an Associated Press investigation found.

Five million acres of land set aside for conservation -- more than Yellowstone, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined -- have vanished on Obama's watch.

Landowners filled in wetlands. They plowed into pristine prairies, releasing carbon dioxide that had been locked in the soil.

Sprayers pumped out billions of pounds of fertilizer, some of which seeped into drinking water, contaminated rivers and worsened the huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico where marine life can't survive.

The consequences are so severe that environmentalists and many scientists have now rejected corn-based ethanol as bad environmental policy. But the Obama administration stands by it, highlighting its benefits to the farming industry rather than any negative impact.


More from President Master of the Obvious

"What we're also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy"

Maybe you should have thought about that before you signed the damn law. Of course, this is the quote from a man who's never done shit in his life.

Funny, here are the other insurance policies I own.
1) Auto insurance
2) Home owner insurance
3) Life insurance
4) Disability insurance.
5) Professional liability insurance

They seemed to be fairly simple to purchase for me.

I call my agent, give them the particular deductibles, amount of coverage figures. They inform/sell me additional coverages for things like uninsured motorist, loan repayment, earthquake, sink hole, etc coverages. I say yeah or nay and we're done.

Why is health insurance so damn complicated? Maybe because the government is more involved? 

Why I should be in the White House Press Pool

"If you like your insurance, you can keep it. Period."

Of course the talking points have been coming out that this only impacts the individual mandate, likely only 5 million people out of 300 million impacted.

When is someone in the press pool going to ask the question,

"since you've delayed the employer mandate until next year, will you be willing to tell business owners who like their insurance policies that they will be able to keep them?"

I think I said that

Someone from Politico is catching on to something I pointed out three weeks ago.

It’s the cardinal rule of marketing management: Under-promise and over-deliver. If the sign at “Pirates of the Caribbean” says the wait is 45 minutes, and your kids are floating along on the ride in half that time, Disneyland really is the Happiest Place on Earth.

So it’s little wonder that the glaring contrast between the White House’s perpetually optimistic talk about its health care plan — “Try it! You’ll like it!” — and the messy realities of its rollout has sent President Barack Obama’s job approval ratings to all-time lows, and for the first time left the public with a negative view of his honesty in some surveys.
From the start, the plan was more complex and unpredictable than Obama liked to acknowledge, reliant as it was on the profit-driven market forces of the private insurance industry, individually regulated in all 50 states. And his strategy for selling it was always based on an unspoken assumption that the public could not tolerate such unpleasant truths.

To be fair, the all-out partisan war to pass the bill, and then to defend it in the courts and Congress, was hardly the time for the president to warn, “This might not work right away, folks.”

But it is nevertheless Obama’s own months of upbeat predictions that have now left a chastened president grappling to restore his credibility, as he did on Thursday by announcing he would allow insurers to extend by a year the substandard plans they recently cancelled to comply with the new law’s demands for fuller coverage.

And it remains to be seen whether that attempted fix (which is voluntary) will satisfy the millions of Americans at risk of losing their current coverage — or stave off demands from restive Democrats in Congress for a legislative remedy. “I am confident that by — by the time we look back on this next year, that people are going to say this is working well, and it’s helping a lot of people,” Obama predicted.
Maybe so. But if not, Obama’s latest claim will be just one more unmet expectation to be thrown back in the face of a leader who likes to tell his own worried aides when things are going badly, “I got this.” Except when he doesn’t.


Vetting the president

I've made the point on this blog that liberals do their candidates no favors but refusing to properly vet their candidates and/or their programs.

Seriously, let's face it, had the media properly vetted Obama, they probably would have ended up with the Billary as president.

And as much as I could stand the Clinton's it would have been a 1000% improvement over a president whop had never run anything in his life; let alone the entire free world.

And if the media had vetted Obamacare, they would have put enough pressure on the administration to ensure that this thing would have been rolled out correctly.

Instead we are bordering on a health care system that is FUBAR.

Byron York with the analysis..........

The journalist Jonathan Cohn, an ardent supporter of Obamacare, recently wrote in The New Republic that problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act should be "an opportunity to have a serious conversation about the law's tradeoffs — the one that should have happened a while ago."

Cohn is right that there was no serious conversation about those tradeoffs back when Congress was considering the law's passage in 2009 and 2010. But why was that? It was because President Obama and his Democratic allies could not speak seriously — and honestly — about those tradeoffs and still pass their bill.

So instead, Obama assured Americans they could keep health care policies they liked. And it wasn't just Obama. "One of our core principles is that if you like the health care you have, you can keep it," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in August 2009. "If you like what you have, you can keep it," said then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in October of the same year.

Now they're looking at losing power for an entire generation.


Obamacare Navigator Fraud Rampant, Not "Isolated Incident"

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Good luck with that

So the president is going to give permission to "bad apple" insurance companies to sell those "substandard" policies.

So tomorrow, you'll be able to call your insurance company and get that lowly policy.


Read my post from a couple of days ago. This isn't like restocking snicker bars on a store shelf.

Hopefully, the media will get that.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Atlas Shrugged... and left town

You can add Tina Turner to this list of people who are taking their ball and going home...........

Apparently for some U.S. citizens it's true—you can't go home again!

The Treasury Department published the names of 560 Americans who renounced their citizenship or are long-term residents who gave back their green cards during the third quarter of 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported. According to tax lawyer Andrew Mitchel who tracks the data, these expatriations reached a record high of 2,369 for the year. The prior highest number of published expatriates was in 2011, said Mitchel.

How's this for a parting gift? Taxpayers who renounce their citizenship or turn in their green card can be subject to an exit tax. People who renounced last year might have avoided higher taxes on income and estates—including those on long-term capital gains—which took effect in 2013.

"The reality is that the U.S. tax system gives dual citizens a good reason to walk away from their U.S. citizenship or permanent-resident status," said Jeffrey Neiman, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "It's a painful process but easier than staying in compliance with the law."


What food stamps can buy for you

2 - 2 liter bottles of Coca Cola
2 bags of pretzels
2 pkgs of Chewy Sweet Tarts
2 Five hour energy's
2 packs of Marlboro Black

In other words, the Breakfast of Champions.

For the record, the woman in front of me did pay cash for the Marlboro's but consider that she might have used that cash to buy that delicious start to the day and not had the cash available to purchase the smokes.

But watching this woman had me thinking about all those Obamunists who are complaining that they are subsidizing other people's health care.

Consider this.

For all those people who smoke, chew tobacco, are obese, own guns, you get to pay for their healthcare despite the horrible choices that results in their "preexisting" condition.

Isn't it great!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Delaying obamacare isn't possible

One of the things I've been telling friends family & clients is that it really isn't possible to delay the Obamacare mandates.


Let's use the automobile business as an example. Let's assume that you're releasing a new model effective January 1. Unfortunately, the transmission supplier says they can't deliver transmissions until one month before you're to begin delivery of the new model.

You really can't go back to last year's model and retool all of your factories to kick out new cars; it's too impractical.

For sure, insurance is not the auto business. First, insurance companies don't have the complexities of production runs. At the same time, an auto company has the benefit of delaying release of a product because no one needs that product. Insurance isn't something you can bring 200,000 people on line when 20,000 will have some medical issue beginning January, 2014.

They just can't go back to their customers and say "Hey, remember those policies you used to have? We're going to bring those back". There's way too many complicated actuarial processes, lined up service providers, support staff training, etc. for an insurance company to bring back all those policies in one month when they effectively killed all that off with the Obamacare regulations a year ago.

It cannot be done. It would be like starting a whole new health insurance provider and new policies in one month.

While I find it funny that the Obamunists may finally get their comeuppance, I do believe that we are looking at a first class medical crisis.

Megan McCardle has the time line of the insurance dominoes falling here. You should read the entire thing. It's right out of a Stephen King hospital movie.

Millions of people are facing those cancellation letters. Ideally, we could just say, never mind -- let these people simply stay on their current policies. But here's maybe the biggest irony in this whole mess. The Obama administration may not be ready for Obamacare but the insurance industry is. The health insurance companies spent the last many months rolling their old policies off the books and replacing them with the 2014 Obamacare compliant products -- Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum….

I suppose it might be possible to get insurance commissioners to waive their requirements but even if they did how could the insurance industry reprogram systems in less than a month that took months to program in the first place, contact the millions impacted, explain their new options (they could still try to get one of the new policies with a subsidy), and get their approval?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Life in "Progress" City - Chicago edition

Fitch Ratings has downgraded the credit worthiness of Chicago's bond debt because of its public pension problems.

Fitch dropped the rating from AA- to A- on $8 billion in general obligation bonds, backed by property taxes.

It also dropped the rating on $497 million in sales tax bonds — paid for by both the city's local sales tax and its share of the state sales tax. And the rating was downgraded on $200 million in commercial paper notes, financed by a general obligation pledge from any available city fund.

Friday's downgrade stems from "the lack of meaningful solutions" to the city's pension situation. City and fire pension programs have no more than 30 percent of the money needed to cover obligations.

The downgrade makes it more expensive to borrow money.

Johnathan Martin meets his "bully"

Yesterday, I turned on the Ravens/Bengals game just in time to watch Michael Oher (of Blind Side Fame) drive a Bengal defensive tackle five yards down the field and pancake him into the turf.

I couldn't help but think how humiliating it might have been to dominated so thoroughly. Then, what really came to mind was that football is the ultimate game of bullying. Moving a guy who's trying to move you is the ultimate form of humiliation or "bullying" to coin today's vernacular.

I'm sure that when that particular play started, that Bengals DL would have like nothing more than to do the same to Oher and stand over him like Mohammed Ali stood over top of Sonny Liston.... the ultimate humiliation.

How many times in high school and college did Johnathan Martin pancake a well undersized defensive lineman and either talked trash or mocked him. My guess is quite a few.

Now he gets to the NFL where the guys are just as big and tougher to dominate. Your teammates ride, harass and haze you as training for the Big Show. If you can't stand up to the guys on your side how are you ever going to take on guys like Reggie White?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not an apologist for Richie Incognito. The fact that that guy has managed to not be suspended for steroid use is a testament to the NFL's horrible drug testing policy. The guy is a walking bottle of Anabol. He would never be on a team I ran.

None the less, the NFL isn't for the faint of heart. I once met a guy who signed on the the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent wide receiver. He told me that the first pass he caught, Kenny Easley hit him, drove him into the turf and buried him helmet right into the based of his spine.

When he got up, Easley told him the next time he would be in two pieces.

He told me that he handed the ball to a coach and said "screw this, I've got a degree".

That's life in the NFL. It's a game where bully meets bully.

Unfortunately, for Johnathan Martin, he was so used to bullying everyone else in his career, he never new what it was like to be on the other end.